I cannot decide what type of wedding I want & feeling overwhelmed


I have been engaged for 6 months and I have still no idea what kind of wedding I want. I've been through the rustic barn option, eloping, city registry office low key affair, glamorous city venue, outdoor venue, abroad... I just feel so unsure of what I want.

How do I work out what is right for me? I feel like I've been through every option available and back to the start again!

Any suggestions? 


  • Lexi90Lexi90 Posts: 971

    I know how you feel! 

    I've booked my venue but I just cannot make any further decisions as I don't have a set idea! I too look at things and love lots of things but can't decide. The cost of everything wedding related makes it harder to choose! 

    Regarding the main focus - the venue - I would write a list of pros and cons of each kind of wedding and start from there. Then maybe a list of which pros are highest on your list. This may get your choices down a bit. Take the time though, go back and visit your top ideas too! 

  • SammykateSammykate Posts: 3,536 New bride

    I suggest you look at local venues within your budget, and book appts to go see them as long as you like them, no matter what style they are. Once you've been to a few you'll get a feeling on which type of venue is right. You'll also start to appreciate the practical concerns with different venue types. For example, you may love the idea of that rustic teepee in the middle of nowhere, but then it takes you 2 hours to find it down random country roads, and then it rains and you end up cold and miserable. So you start to think: is this what I want for my guests? Or, you may think a very practical hotel conference room will be fine, but when you visit you hate the atmosphere and the staff are rude.

    Case in point- my first venue/theme choice was something really fun and out there: a zoo, a planetarium, a space center, an aquarium. But we didn't like the function suite at the zoo, the planetarium was a logistical headache and the aquarium only let you have it after 5pm. So in the end we went for the thing I thought I would never want- a countryside hotel for a classic English garden wedding. It just felt right, and all the practical concerns were solved too.

    Once you have your venue the rest of your theme will come together naturally!

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    Write down things that you definitely want. In my case it was being able to have my ceremony and reception in the same place, an exclusive venue - so that the only people there would be us and our guests, I was also adamant I didn't want to get married at a golf course or hotel. I also wanted there to be nearby accommodation for guests (under ten minutes by taxi). 

  • Bims09Bims09 Posts: 240 New bride

    Have you spoken to your partner about what they'd like as well? We didn't really know where to start, but as neither of us particularly like being the centre of attention we decided early on that it should be quite a relaxed affair. This then steered us towards looking at barn/ farm venues with lots of space so we could keep things informal. But saying that, we looked at some other places too - including an air museum as my fiancé loves planes! - just to get a good mix of ideas.

    So I suppose a key thing could be to think about what you both enjoy (for example, are you big party people or do you tend to go for quieter celebrations?) and go from there.

    Or, as has already been suggested, just book some appointments and see what jumps out at you! It's definitely easier once you start looking and see what's out there.

  • Go onto websites such as Pinterest and Pin everything that you like wedding related onto a board, eventually you may start to see a pattern emerging or things getting pinned more often that other things? 

  • Kitten2014Kitten2014 Posts: 1,489

    The first thing I would do is leave it alone for a bit. It's so easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning stages, that one forgets to even enjoy being engaged! You can be engaged and not be planning a wedding!  Do take time to savour it, you only get to enjoy the "engagement bubble" once and you don't want to waste that time stressed out and frustrated. 

    Give yourself several months and then start again. A re-set may be all you need.  Perhaps wait until after the holidays.

    After your "cool down" period, I would work out a budget. Your budget may eliminate several possibilities for you.  If you do this after the holidays, you're likely to be the most skint this time of year which will be perfect as it will force your mind into writing the most realistic budget.

    Once you have a budget, I would take Sammykate's advice and start viewing venues within that budget and within the geographic area that suits you. You and your h2b will start to be able to make lists of what you liked and what you didn't on the venues you view that you've "prequalified" on cost and distance.  (There's no sense considering or stressing about places you can't afford or wouldn't be willing to travel to.)

    Once you've seen a few places, see if anywhere really "spoke" to you. Also rule out anywhere that doesn't meet your basic needs (i.e. accommodating your potential guest list, lack of car park, high corkage fees, etc.)

    Once you've narrowed down the list of venues to those that you like, you can start talking available dates. Some dates will be cheaper than others, based upon time of year and day of the week, so that will likely also influence your decision.  Between the practical aspects (budget, location, available dates) and the intangibles, you will finally have a venue sorted.

    The venue itself and the time of year will largely then dictate other aspects of the wedding. A fancy manor house in fall doesn't scream fushia BM's dresses and a rock n' roll theme. A historical museum doesn't beg for hessian everywhere and jam jars.  (Not to say you can't do what you want, but you may "feel" a theme emerge that doesn't feel forced.)

    Just take your time and go at it one step at a time. Don't let the websites, Pinterest, bridal fayres, and the wedding mags overwhelm you - because it's easy enough to have happen.  Make absolutely sure that you enjoy the process!


  • Mimi8Mimi8 Posts: 314

    My son's sitter in law to be had the same dilemma but by just buying one or two small  things she really liked and taking her time she has come up with her wedding colour scheme. don't pressure yourself , if you have or get a venue that you really like that may help you decide what might look good. don't tell yourself  you have to have a theme just chill and it will come , let us know how it goes , good luckx

  • Hey,

    Sorry to hear you feel overwhelmed. I agree with all the advice on here. It's so easy to become overwhelmed, and at the start you will pin absolutely everything and it will have so shape or theme! Don't worry .. you'll work through it and it'll become clearer what you want.

    My advice (like Hails) would be to have a really good chat with your partner about what's important to you. Don't worry about anything like colours, venue type, etc - that can all come later. Think about what will make both of you really really really happy! You're going to spend a lot of time and energy on this, so it should reflect you both as a couple, and hopefully bring you closer together during the process. In our case, we were both clear we wanted a big party - for everyone to have a good time. We wanted our friends there, but we didn't want cousins we never spoke to - just people we actually like and get on with. I was also clear I didn't want a typical hotel wedding in a function room, but I didn't know what I wanted instead. I was very clear on what church I wanted to get married in, so 

    In our case, we were both clear we wanted a big party - for everyone to have a good time. We wanted our friends there, but we didn't want cousins we never spoke to - just people we actually like and get on with. I was also clear I didn't want a typical hotel wedding in a function room, but I didn't know what I wanted instead. I was very clear on what church I wanted to get married in, so we came up with a list of venues within 45 minutes drive of the church. We got the list through research on the internet. Then we went for one weekend and visited about 8 venues in 2 days. After the 2 days it was really clear what we liked, and what we didn't like, and when we found our venue it was really clear to us that it was the right place. The best way to get a feel for the venue is to visit them, meet the staff, see how much support they'll give, etc.

    I think in general being clear on what's important to you and your partner will help you throughout the planning process and help make decision making a bit easier!

    I hope this helps, and best wishes for your big day!

    Helen x

  • Sorry to hear you're feeling overwhelmed, there is such pressure to make the day perfect, unique, best day of your life etc etc but ultimately, it is what you and your partner would like! 

    Maybe you should think about the things you usually like to do, do you like swish hotels, or forest, calm settings - do you have a date when realistically you'll be able to save your money towards? 


    We picked our date purely based on how long it would take us to save, our venue was based on our numbers and parking lol.. It's a pretty venue, but if I didn't have as many guests for instance we'd have got married in New York at City Hall. 


    This is day that is about you - all you need to do is ask yourself what you would enjoy, and I promise the rest will follow x

  • Hey girls,

    Just to follow up (& I hope none of you are still feeling overwhelmed!): <!--?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?-->

    I'm actually giving a free workshop on Thursday evening about essential wedding planning tools, and (spoiler alert) Pinterest is on there. I'd love if you were able to join - you can find out more at weddingquickstart.com/workshop

    Best wishes,

    Helen x 

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